1964 June 20

Lesbian Conference Hears Two Drs. Challenge Idea that Homosexuality is a Disease


At a conference on this day sponsored by the Daughters of Bilitis, the  first national Lesbian rights organization (founded September 21, 1955), Dr. Wesley Pomeroy, co-author of the two famous Kinsey reports on male and female sexual behavior, and another doctor challenged the idea that homosexuality was a disease. About 100 people, male and female, attended the event at the Barbizon Plaza.

A planned panel discussion on the topic was scheduled to be on the local ABC affiliate’s Les Crane television show but was cancelled, with no reason given. On December 15, 1973, the American Psychiatric Association issued a statement that homosexuality was not a disease.

Read: Marcia Gallo, Different Daughters: A History of the Daughters of Bilitis and the Rise of the Lesbian Rights Movement (2006)

Learn more about homosexuality, “The Mental Illness That Went Away”: http://www.behaviorismandmentalhealth.com/2011/10/08/homosexuality-the-mental-illness-that-went-away/

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